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flag-1544223_1920-300x219In 2017, law enforcement across Texas seized more than $50 million in property, cash, and other assets from private citizens. They were able to do so by claiming these assets were linked to crime. While some of these seizures were taken using criminal forfeiture—that is, as part of cases where an individual was found guilty of a crime—others were taken using civil forfeiture. No criminal charges are required for civil asset forfeiture.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office makes no distinction in its records between civil and criminal forfeiture, so it is unknown how much property was taken from individuals not charged with a crime. Attempts by state legislators to force law enforcement to improve their reporting have repeatedly failed.
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backlit-crime-dark-143580-300x200A businessman who pleaded guilty to defrauding the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has been sentenced to six months in prison, a year of house arrest, and fined $10,000.

Between 2011 and 2013, John R. Cacaro, age 59, owned and operated Employers Choice Plus LLC, a payroll processing company. Employers Choice Plus also made workers’ compensation premium payments on behalf of their clients.
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alcohol-automotive-beer-288476-300x225DEA agent Brendan Darcangelo of Palm Beach County, Florida has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a DUI car crash that damaged another vehicle and injured two people.

Darcangelo faces charges of driving under the influence with property damage and driving under the influence with injury to others. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.

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coffee-contact-email-4831-300x200YMCA Counselor Joseph Anthony Garcia of Miami, Florida was arrested on Monday for allegedly attempting to force a teenage boy to send him nude pictures, police say.

Garcia, 18, faces charges of promoting the sexual performance of a child, traveling to meet a minor for sex, possession of an image or video showing the sexual performance of a child, possession of obscene materials depicting a minor, and using a computer to misrepresent his age. It is unclear if he has acquired an attorney.

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city-3195717_1920-300x200After a lively debate, the Metropolitan Council of Nashville, Tennessee has agreed to renew its participation in a controversial federal civil asset forfeiture program called “equitable sharing.” Opponents from both the left and the right argue the program encourages “policing for profit.”

Civil asset forfeiture is the legal procedure where law enforcement can seize an individual’s property or cash without filing criminal charges. In most states, all that is required is the suspicion that the property was involved in a crime. In a criminal case, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. In Tennessee, in cases where a vehicle is seized, however, the burden of proving innocence lies with the property owner.
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